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Marjorie Boulton obituary


My friend Marjorie Boulton, who has died aged 93, was an Esperanto poet who was a candidate for the Nobel prize in literature in 2008. She was also an ambassador for the Esperanto community. A prolific author, she wrote plays, poems and prose in Esperanto that displayed all the poignancy and pathos of the best national-language offerings. Marjorie wrote what still stands today as the best biography in English of Ludwik Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto. It was, though, her warmth and generosity that afforded her celebrity status within the Esperanto world.

She was born in Teddington, south-west London, to Evelyn (nee Cartlidge) and Harry Boulton. Her father was headteacher at Barton-on-Humber grammar school in Lincolnshire, where Marjorie was educated. She received a first-class degree in English from Oxford in 1944. In 1949 she learned Esperanto for reasons that were typical of the day: she believed in the original idea that a neutral common language would foster peace among mankind.

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